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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ervin, Wilson

[Picture courtesy of the Belfast News Letter]

Wilson Ervin CBE
was born on 13th December 1923.  [Belfast News Letter quotes 13th November 1923].

He was the son of Robert John Ervin, 32 Lucerne Parade, Belfast.  Ervin attended Stranmillis and Fane Street Primary Schools before moving on to RBAI (Inst.) from 1936 to 1941.
In an autobiographical article in ‘The Link’ he reflected on his teenage years during World War II:
“I was very anxious to get out there and try and do my bit but my father was keen that I should look for a good job to which I could return after War Service.” 

Ervin joined the Belfast Banking Company on 15th April 1942 at Dungannon branch.  He says:
“It’s difficult to imagine I was only paid £90 a year and still had spending money after buying a new suit and paying for my return train fares to Belfast.” 

Ervin joined the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and served 4 years. He served in home waters as well as all over the world ... to South Africa, the Far East, Ceylon, Burma and Australia. His 21st birthday was spent in the Indian Ocean.

Ervin returned from Active Service on 22nd August 1946 when his address was recorded as 32 Lucerne Parade, Belfast.  His first branch after the war was Bangor and he arrived with what his manager thought was 5 years banking experience.  The bank looked upon his 4 years Royal Navy service as ‘Banking Service’.  

Ervin was a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club in March 1947 paying 5 shillings subscription. 
It was in Bangor that he met his future wife, Joan Mercer, who was also a bank official.  

He is recorded in the 1966 annual accounts of the Belfast Banking Company as being the assistant manager of Donegall Square North branch.  Transfers followed to positions in Head Office, Inspection Staff, Advances Controller, Regional Director and Managing Director (1972). 
Later he was appointed Chief Executive and Senior Managing Director, a position he held until his retirement in 1974 or 1984. 
He was appointed as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). 
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1973)’ contains 2 photographs of Ervin. 
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1984)’ contains a photograph of W Ervin in the Belfast Bank Cricket Team of 1947. 

Ervin attended the 2000 re-dedication ceremony of the Rolls of Honour.

The Belfast Telegraph dated 24th February 2015 published a death notice saying that Wilson Ervin had died on 22nd February 2015.  A Service of Thanksgiving was held on 25th February 2015 at Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Malone Road, Belfast.

Wilson Ervin's obitiary features in the Belfast News Letter of 1st June 2015.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Medals Awarded During the Great War

The medals awarded during the Great War were:

1914 Star (Mons Star) was awarded for service in France or Flanders (Belgium) between 5 August and 22 November 1914 (clasp).

1914-15 Star was awarded for service in France or Flanders (Belgium) between 23 November 1914 and 31 December 1915, or for service in any theatre between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915.

Note: A person awarded any of the variants of the Stars automatically qualified for the award of the Allied Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Allied Victory Medal (Victory Medal) was awarded for service in any operational theatre between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was issued to individuals who received the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars and to most individuals who were issued the British War Medal. The medal was also awarded for service in Russia (1919-1920) and post-war mine clearance in the North Sea (1918-1919).

British War Medal was awarded to both servicemen and civilians that either served in a theatre of war, or rendered service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was also awarded for service in Russia, and post-war mine clearance in the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea between 1919 and 1920.

Note: The Victory Medal could not be awarded on its own, therefore a Victory Medal must always be issued with at least a British War Medal (but the reverse is not true - some Naval personnel received the British War Medal but not the Victory Medal).

Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was awarded to non-commissioned officers for bravery.

Distinguished Service Order (DSO) was generally awarded to officers ranked Major and higher for distinguished war service.

Military Cross Medal (MC) was awarded to commissioned officers of Captain and below, as well Warrant Officers, for valour during active operations.

Numbers Awarded WW1, WW2 & Korea
MC1st Bar2nd Bar3rd Bar
1st World War37,1042,9841684
2nd World War10,38648224-

Military Medal was awarded to non-commissioned officers for bravery in land battle.

Silver War Badge (SWB) was awarded to servicemen who became ill or were wounded while serving in a theatre of war or at home.

Note: A person who received any of the variants of the Stars could not be awarded the Territorial Force War Medal. 

Territorial Force War Medal was awarded to servicemen who were members of the Territorial Force either on or before 30 September 1914 and who served in an operational theatre abroad between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.

“Mentioned in Despatches” was an award for commendable service or bravery. Despatches were official reports that detailed military operations. These reports were published in the London Gazette. Servicemen who had performed noteworthy actions were often mentioned in these reports, therefore having been “Mentioned in Despatches.”